Thursday, 14 May 2015

NUI Galway recently held the EXPLORE Celebration Showcase celebrating over 80 innovation projects. Launched by NUI Galway and the University’s Students’ Union in 2012, the EXPLORE project supports students and staff to work together to pilot new ideas. To date, EXPLORE, the first scheme of its kind in Irish higher education, has delivered over 80 new projects not only on campus, but also nationally and globally, with more than 500 participants. Professor Chris Curtin, Vice-President for Innovation and Performance, at NUI Galway said: “EXPLORE is part of a wider initiative at NUI Galway to foster an innovative, ideas culture where students and staff are encouraged to come up with ideas and run with them. It’s about building a network of campus innovators. EXPLORE gives students a real opportunity to transform ideas into practice. But, it also gives them an opportunity to work hands on with staff on an on-going basis. I think this is a really important part of the EXPLORE initiative since many students experience staff at a distance in lecture halls, or in seminars, or in tutorials.” The wider community benefits from EXPLORE as many projects are specifically developed to address societal needs, and the reach of EXPLORE projects already stretches into the thousands both on and off campus. Over 12,000 school children have directly engaged with EXPLORE, while digital teaching and study aids created by EXPLORE projects have had well in excess of 60,000 views. In comparison with traditional enterprise success and attrition rates, EXPLORE has an 85% project completion rate. EXPLORE projects have recently been showcased at the Apple iStore, Regent Street, London; and The World Teaching and Learning Conference. NUI Galway Students’ Union President Declan Higgins said: “The unique opportunity for students and lecturers to collaborate on these projects is invaluable. It invites both out from the oasis of their comfort zones to the realm of the uncertain – often times with excellent and inspiring results, and today is testament to this. -Ends-

Friday, 15 May 2015

NUI Galway’s President, Dr Jim Browne, has heralded next week’s royal visit as an “an important milestone in this University’s proud 170 year-old history” NUI Galway is delighted to welcome Their Royal Highnesses The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall to NUI Galway as part of their private visit to Ireland this coming week. The visit to the campus will take place on Tuesday, May 19, 2015. President of NUI Galway, Dr Jim Browne, stated: “It is with great pleasure we welcome Their Royal Highnesses The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall to NUI Galway and the west of Ireland. Founded in 1845 as one of three Queen’s Colleges, this historic visit is an important milestone in this University’s proud 170 year-old history. We are honoured to host a reception at NUI Galway to celebrate this royal visit and we look forward to showcasing the University’s many and diverse achievements to the royal visitors. Ranked among the top 2% of universities in the world, our students, teachers, researchers and alumni have a well-respected reputation. The NUI Galway community constantly builds it network of relationships that span the globe and as an extension to this we very much look forward to extending a Céad Míle Fáilte to The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall.” Preparations are underway at the University to showcase its heritage as well as its current impact on the world to Their Royal Highnesses The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall. The Irish language and Celtic studies will be central to the showcase as will key research areas such as Biomedical Science and Engineering; Environment, Marine and Energy; Social Science and Policy; Informatics, Data Analytics, Physical and Computational Sciences; and Humanities in Context, including Digital Humanities. Highlights of the visit will include current students meeting with the royal guests and a special tree planting ceremony. Follow the event live! The University is delighted to announce that the public can follow the event live as a live stream will be available at www.nuigalway.ie/royalvisit Event commentary via Twitter will be available by following @nuigalway and other social media channels such as Facebook and Linkedin will update as the preparations for the royal visit continue. While it will be business as usual for the majority of staff and students, some restrictions will apply to the Quadrangle and nearby buildings on 18-19 May. The University is working with An Garda Síochána to ensure that the event runs as smoothly as possible. ENDS Cuirfidh OÉ Gaillimh fáilte roimh an gCuairt Ríoga ar an gCampas D'fhógair Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh, an Dr Jim Browne, cuairt ríoga na seachtaine seo chugainn mar “bhuaicphointe in oidhreacht 170 bliain na hOllscoile” Is mór an ríméad atá ar OÉ fáilte a chur roimh a Mórgachtaí Ríoga, Prionsa na Breataine Bige agus Bandiúc Chorn na Breataine chuig OÉ Gaillimh mar chuid de chuairt phríobháideach ar Éirinn an tseachtain seo chugainn. Tabharfaidh siad cuairt ar an gcampas Dé Máirt, an 19 Bealtaine 2015. Dúirt Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh, an Dr Jim Browne: “Is mór an t-údar ríméid dom fáilte a chur roimh na Mórgachtaí Ríoga, Prionsa na Breataine Bige agus Bandiúc Chorn na Breataine, chuig OÉ Gaillimh agus Iarthar na hÉireann. Bunaíodh an Ollscoil i 1845 mar cheann de thrí Choláiste na Banríona agus is ócáid an-stairiúil a bheas sa chuairt seo in oidhreacht 170 bliain na hOllscoile seo. Is mór an onóir fáiltiú a bheith againn don chuairt ríoga seo in OÉ Gaillimh agus beidh deis againn éachtaí éagsúla na hOllscoile a chur i láthair na gcuairteoirí ríoga ar an lá. Tá áit bainte amach ag an Ollscoil seo i measc an 2% is fearr sa domhan, agus tá dea-cháil ar ár mic léinn, ár dteagascóirí, ár dtaighdeoirí agus ár n-alumni. Bíonn pobal OÉ Gaillimh i gcónaí ag cur leis na naisc atá againn ar fud na cruinne agus ní haon iontas mar sin go bhfuilimid ag súil go mór le fáilte ó chroí a chur roimh Phrionsa na Breataine Bige agus Bandiúc Chorn na Breataine.” Tá ullmhúcháin ar bun san Ollscoil faoi láthair chun a hoidhreacht agus an lorg atá fágtha ag an Ollscoil ar an saol mór a léiriú do Phrionsa na Breataine Bige agus do Bhandiúc Chorn na Breataine. Beidh páirt mhór ag an nGaeilge agus ag an Léann Ceilteach sa chur i láthair seo chomh maith le réimsí móra taighde cosúil le hEolaíocht agus Innealtóireacht Bhithleighis; Comhshaol, Muir agus Fuinneamh; Eolaíochtaí Sóisialta agus Beartas; Ionformaitic, Anailísíocht Sonraí, Eolaíochtaí Fisiciúla & Ríomhaireachta; agus na Daonnachtaí i gComhthéacs, na Daonnachtaí Digiteacha san áireamh. I measc bhuaicphointí na cuairte beidh mic léinn ag casadh leis na cuairteoirí ríoga agus searmanas speisialta ag cur crainn. Lean an ócáid beo ar líne! Tá an-áthas ar an Ollscoil a fhógairt go bhféadfaidh an saol mór an ócáid a fheiceáil mar bheoshruth ag www.nuigalway.ie/royalvisit Beidh tráchtaireacht ar an ócáid ar Twitter ach @nuigalway a leanúint agus beidh na socruithe is deireanaí maidir leis an gcuairt ríoga le fáil ar mheáin shóisialta eile cosúil le Facebook agus Linkedin. Cé go bhfeidhmeoidh formhór na gcomhaltaí foirne agus na mac léinn mar is gnáth, beidh roinnt srianta i bhfeidhm ar an gCearnóg agus ar roinnt foirgneamh eile in aice láimhe an 18-19 Bealtaine. Tá an Ollscoil ag obair leis an nGarda Síochána chun a chinntiú nach mbeidh aon fhadhbanna ar an lá. CRÍOCH

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

President Dr Jim Browne will welcome the royal couple A commemorative oak tree will be planted The historic Quadrangle at NUI Galway will be the setting today for an elaborate showcase of heritage, culture, research and education. NUI Galway’s President, Dr Jim Browne, will welcome Their Royal Highnesses The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall to the campus for the start of their visit to Galway, Clare and Sligo. The visitors will be greeted by Irish music and dance in the ‘Quad’, followed by an ‘NUI Galway Expo’ and reception. The Expo will provide the visitors with first-hand insights into the University’s heritage, the Irish language and Celtic studies, and the latest cutting-edge research. There will also be an opportunity to meet with students from Ireland and across the Commonwealth. Ahead of the visit, President of NUI Galway, Dr Jim Browne, stated: “It is with great pleasure we welcome Their Royal Highnesses The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall to NUI Galway. There is huge resonance to this visit for the NUI Galway community because of the decision made in the 1840s to establish three Queen’s Colleges in Galway, Cork and Belfast. That decision – at the height of the Irish Famine – a time of real austerity – was transformative for our country – and especially our region. This is evident from the impact on society which our alumni, our academics, our students and our researchers have to this day.” Heritage Their Royal Highnesses will be shown memorabilia from the founding times of the University. NUI Galway’s prestigious history spans back 170 years to its foundation in 1845. Known then as Queen’s College Galway, the University was one of three Queen’s Colleges, the others located in Cork and Belfast. Items on show will include original architectural plans, pencil, ink and watercolour on canvas, of the Quadrangle, built in local limestone and modelled on Christ Church at the University of Oxford. They will also be shown the first roll-book, also known as ‘The Declaration Book’, dating from 1849, original leather binding with gilded inlay and insignia, contains the signed oath and declaration of the first Presidents, all academic staff and register all students who matriculated and enrolled as Queen’s College Galway from its first academic year of 1849-50. Initially, there were only 63 students enrolled at the College, which is now home to over 17,000 students. Irish Language and Celtic Studies A unique aspect of NUI Galway’s role as a University is its strategic commitment to the provision of University education through the medium of Irish and the University’s aim to serve the Gaeltacht and the Irish language community, and to create an exemplary bilingual campus. The guests will be given a presentation on the standard reference English-Irish dictionary. From the sixteenth to the nineteenth century, Irish writers claimed the ‘Crown of Ireland’ was theirs to bestow on their preferred candidate as the rightful king of the three kingdoms. For Irish language writers of the late medieval period, cultural allegiance was more significant than religious or political affiliation as a marker of Irish identity. The Royal Couple will be presented with an image from Breandán Ó Buachalla’s book The Crown of Ireland. Research Impact Situated on the edge of Europe, NUI Galway is a dynamic location for research and innovation. The University’s approach is to be collaborative, creative, interdisciplinary and entrepreneurial. NUI Galway partners with almost 3,000 research institutes worldwide to create global networks of expertise. The ‘Expo’ will showcase research across five broad areas, including: Applied Social Sciences and Public Policy; Biomedical Science and Engineering; Environment, Marine and Energy; Humanities in Context, including Digital Humanities; and Informatics, Data Analytics, Physical and Computational Sciences. Of particular interest to Their Royal Highnesses may be NUI Galway’s research in: Medical devices and regenerative medicine: Researchers at CÚRAM Centre for Medical Devices, will discuss novel devices for treating bone degeneration disease such as osteoporosis. CÚRAM researchers are creating nanoscale fibres from polymers and incorporating these into a mesh-like scaffold that mimics the natural bone matrix. Importantly, these scaffold materials can be utilised for the regeneration of large bone defects, which do not undergo spontaneous regeneration normally. Violence against Women and Girls: Their Royal Highnesses will also hear about a new research project in the University’s Global Women’s Studies Centre funded by the UK Department for International Development called What Works to Prevent Violence against Women and Girls. NUI Galway is leading the component of the programme which aims to understand the economic and social costs of such violence in three developing states: South Sudan and the commonwealth countries of Pakistan and Ghana. It is known that Violence against Women Girls (VAWG) has consequences for individuals and families; this project aims to deepen and extend our understanding of the impacts of VAWG by examining the economic costs that limit growth and development and the social costs that may contribute to social fragility and conflict. Abbey Theatre Archive: NUI Galway is working with the Abbey Theatre to digitise their entire archive in the largest such project in the world. In addition to the digitisation, the Insight Centre at NUI Galway is using advanced technologies to make this priceless resource accessible to as broad an audience as possible. This allows us to uncover previously unknown knowledge such as connections between specific actors and directors during the theatre’s history. Supporting youth: In work aligned to the Prince’s Trust programmes, the UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre at NUI Galway is developing a cadre of (nation based) community of youth as peer mentors/supporters. Commissioned by UN/UNESCO, the Centre will co-lead on a research project on the prevention of youth extremism through civic engagement.  One strand, (Marie Curie funded) will focus on understanding youth Multi-cultural and Disadvantaged (London and Dublin); Post-Conflict ( Belfast) and Rurally isolated (Galway). Their Royal Highnesses will have the opportunity to meet some Youth Researchers (trained by the UNESCO Centre) whom form a key aspect of the research programme. Marine and Energy Research: The Ryan Institute for Environmental, Marine and Energy Research contributes to some of the most important national and international, long-term, environmental, marine and energy research issues. The Ryan Institute's affiliated researchers are committed to knowledge sharing and collaboration across the sciences, engineering, social sciences and medicine. Specifically to be discussed will be marine renewable energy, earth observation for environmental change, marine zoology, deep-sea habitats and anaerobic digestion in agriculture. Tree planting ceremony NUI Galway is Ireland’s most biodiverse university, and over 100 specimen trees surround the historic Quadrangle, some as old as the building itself. Today, in a special ceremony, Their Royal Highnesses will plant a sessile oak beside the Quadrangle. The sessile oak has particularly special meaning as it connects Ireland, Wales and Cornwall. It is the official National Tree of Ireland, where it is known as the Irish oak or Dair ghaelach (‘Gaelic oak’). Also, it is the national tree of Wales and is considered the national tree of Cornwall, as reflected by its other common names, the Welsh oak and the Cornish Oak. Event commentary via Twitter will be available by following @nuigalway and other social media channels such as Facebook and Linkedin will update as the preparations for the royal visit continue. #royalvisitireland While it will be business as usual for the majority of staff and students, strict restrictions will apply to the Quadrangle and nearby buildings on 19 May. The University is working with An Garda Síochána to ensure that the event runs as smoothly as possible. ENDS   Cuirfear tús leis an gCuairt Ríoga ar OÉ Gaillimh le taispeántas oidhreachta agus taighde Cuirfidh an tUachtarán, an Dr Jim Browne, fáilte roimh an lánúin ríoga Cuirfear crann darach comórtha Is i gCearnóg stairiúil OÉ Gaillimh a dhéanfar taispeántas iontach d’oidhreacht, cultúr, taighde agus oideachas inniu. Cuirfidh Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh, an Dr Jim Browne, fáilte roimh na Mórgachtaí Ríoga Prionsa na Breataine Bige agus Bandiúc Chorn na Breataine chuig an gcampas chun tús a chur lena gcuairt ar Ghaillimh, ar an gClár agus ar Shligeach. Seinnfear ceol agus déanfar damhsa traidisiúnta na hÉireann do na cuairteoirí sa Chearnóg, agus ina dhiaidh sin beidh ‘Taispeántas OÉ Gaillimh’ mar aon le fáiltiú. Tabharfaidh an Taispeántas léargas pearsanta do na cuairteoirí ar oidhreacht na hOllscoile, ar an nGaeilge agus ar an Léann Ceilteach, agus ar an taighde ceannródaíoch is déanaí. Beidh deis ag an lánúin chomh maith casadh le mic léinn as Éirinn agus as an gComhlathas. Ag labhairt dó roimh an gcuairt, dúirt an Dr Jim Browne, Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh: “Is mór an t-údar ríméid dúinn fáilte a chur roimh na Mórgachtaí Ríoga Prionsa na Breataine Bige agus Bandiúc Chorn na Breataine chuig OÉ Gaillimh. Tá spéis ollmhór ag pobal OÉ Gaillimh sa chuairt seo mar gheall ar an gcinneadh a rinneadh sna 1840í trí Choláiste de chuid na Banríona a bhunú i nGaillimh, i gCorcaigh agus i mBéal Feirste. Bhí an cinneadh sin – i lár an Ghorta Mhóir, tráth a raibh déine i mbarr réime – athraitheach dár dtír – agus go háirithe dár réigiún. Tá sé seo soiléir ón tionchar atá ag ár alumni, acadóirí, mic léinn agus taighdeoirí ar an tsochaí fós sa lá atá inniu ann.” Oidhreacht Taispeánfar earraí cuimhneacháin do na Mórgachtaí Ríoga ón uair a bunaíodh an Ollscoil. Áiríonn oidhreacht shaibhir OÉ Gaillimh 170 bliain ag dul siar go dtí bliain a bunaithe i 1845. Tugadh Coláiste na Banríona, Gaillimh air agus bhí an Ollscoil ar cheann de thrí Choláiste na Banríona, bhí an péire eile i gCorcaigh agus i mBéal Feirste. I measc na n-earraí a bheidh ar taispeáint beidh bunphleananna ailtireachta i bpeann luaidhe, dúch agus uiscedhath ar chanbhás, den Chearnóg a tógadh le haolchloch áitiúil agus a múnlaíodh ar Ardeaglais Chríost in Ollscoil Oxford. Taispeánfar dóibh chomh maith an chéad leabhar rolla, ar a dtugtar ‘An Leabhar Clárúcháin’, a théann siar go dtí 1849, ar a bhfuil an bunchlúdach leathair le hinleagadh agus le hionchomhartha ór, ina bhfuil mionn agus dearbhú sínithe na Chéad Uachtaráin, gach comhalta foirne acadúil agus gach mac léinn a ghnóthaigh máithreánach agus a chláraigh i gColáiste na Banríona ón gcéad bhliain acadúil 1849-50. I dtús aimsire, ní raibh ach 63 mac léinn cláraithe sa Choláiste, áit a bhfuil os cionn 17,000 mac léinn anois. An Ghaeilge agus an Léann Ceilteach Gné uathúil de ról OÉ Gaillimh mar Ollscoil is ea a tiomantas straitéiseach d’oideachas Ollscoile trí mheán na Gaeilge a chur ar fáil agus aidhm na hOllscoile freastal ar an nGaeltacht agus ar phobal na Gaeilge, agus campas dátheangach eiseamláireach a chruthú. Déanfar cur i láthair do na haíonna ar an bhfoclóir caighdeánach tagartha Béarla-Gaeilge. Ón séú go dtí an naoú hAois déag, d’áitigh scríbhneoirí na hÉireann gur leo ‘Coróin na hÉireann’ le bronnadh ar an iarrthóir ab ansa leo mar rí dlisteanach na dtrí ríocht. Bhraith scríbhneoirí Gaeilge na tréimhse meánaoisí deiridh go raibh dílseacht chultúrtha níos suntasaí ná dílseacht reiligiúnach nó pholaitiúil mar léiriú ar an bhféiniúlacht Éireannach. Bronnfar íomhá ó leabhar Bhreandáin Uí Bhuachalla The Crown of Ireland ar an Lánúin Ríoga. Tionchar Taighde Lonnaithe ar imeall na hEorpa, is suíomh dinimiciúil é OÉ Gaillimh don taighde agus don nuálaíocht. Tá cur chuige na hOllscoile comhoibríoch, cruthaitheach, idirdhisciplíneach agus fiontraíoch. Tá OÉ Gaillimh i gcomhpháirtíocht le beagnach 3,000 institiúid taighde ar fud an domhain chun líonraí domhanda saineolais a chruthú. Beidh taighde as cúig réimse ghinearálta le feiceáil sa ‘Taispeántas’, lena n-áirítear: Eolaíochtaí Sóisialta Feidhmeacha agus Beartas Poiblí; Eolaíocht agus Innealtóireacht Bhithleighis; Comhshaol, Muir agus Fuinneamh; na Daonnachtaí i gComhthéacs, na Daonnachtaí Digiteacha san áireamh; agus Ionformaitic, Anailísíocht Sonraí, Eolaíochtaí Fisiciúla agus Ríomhaireachta. D’fhéadfadh suim faoi leith a bheith ag na Mórgachtaí Ríoga i dtaighde OÉ Gaillimh sna réimsí seo a leanas: Feistí leighis agus leigheas athghiniúnach: Pléifidh taighdeoirí ag CÚRAM, an tIonad Taighde d’Fheistí Leighis, feistí nua chun dul i ngleic le galar meathlúcháin cnámh cosúil le hoistéapóróis. Tá taighdeoirí CÚRAM ag cruthú snáithíní nanascála ó pholaiméirí agus á n-áireamh go scafall cosúil le mogall a dhéanann aithris ar mhaitrís na cnáimhe nádúrtha. Tá sé tábhachtach gur féidir na hábhair scafaill seo a úsáid chun máchailí móra cnámh a athghiniúint, nach dtarlaíonn uath-athghiniúint dóibh go nádúrtha. Foréigean in aghaidh Cailíní agus Ban Cloisfidh na Mórgachtaí Ríoga faoi thionscadal nua taighde Léann na mBan Domhanda atá maoinithe ag Department for International Development na Ríochta Aontaithe dar teideal What Works to Prevent Violence against Women and Girls. Tá OÉ Gaillimh i gceannas ar an gcuid sin den chlár atá ag iarraidh tuiscint a fháil ar chostais eacnamaíocha agus shóisialta an fhoréigin sna trí stát atá i mbéal forbartha: An tSúdáin Theas agus na tíortha comhlathais an Phacastáin agus Gána. Bíonn tionchar ag Foréigean in aghaidh Cailíní agus Ban (VAWG) ar dhaoine agus ar theaghlaigh; tá sé mar aidhm leis an tionscadal seo tuiscint níos fearr a fháil ar an tionchar a bhíonn ag an bhforéigean sin trí bhreathnú ar an gcostas eacnamaíoch a choscann fás agus forbairt agus an costas sóisialta a chuireann le leochaileacht shóisialta agus coimhlint. Cartlann Amharclann na Mainistreach Tá OÉ Gaillimh ag obair le hAmharclann na Mainistreach ar an tionscadal is mó dá leithéid riamh ar domhan chun a gcartlann a dhigitiú. Chomh maith leis an digitiú, tá Ionad Insight OÉ Gaillimh ag úsáid na dteicneolaíochtaí is deireanaí chun an acmhainn luachmhar seo a chur ar fáil don líon is mó lucht féachana agus is féidir. Tugann sé seo deis dúinn teacht ar eolas nach raibh ar fáil roimhe seo cosúil leis an gceangal idir aisteoirí agus léiritheoirí áirithe i rith shaolré na hamharclainne. Ag tacú leis an óige In obair a bhaineann le hIontaobhas an Phrionsa, tá Ionad Taighde Leanaí agus Teaghlach UNESCO in OÉ Gaillimh ag forbairt pobal caidre den óige mar mheantóirí/tacadóirí. Tá an tIonad coimisiúnaithe ag na NA/UNESCO, agus beidh an tIonad ag comhstiúradh an tionscadail taighde a dhíreoidh ar antoisceachas na hóige a chosc trí chomhpháirteachas poiblí.  Díreoidh sraith amháin, (atá maoinithe ag Marie Curie) ar thuiscint a fháil ar an óige ilchultúrtha agus faoi mhíbhuntáiste (Londain agus Baile Átha Cliath); iar-choinbhleacht (Béal Feirste) agus iargúlta faoin Tuath (Gaillimh). Beidh an deis ag na Mórgachtaí Ríoga casadh le cuid de na Taighdeoirí Óige seo (atá oilte ag Ionad UNESCO) ar cuid lárnach iad den chlár taighde. Taighde Mara agus Fuinnimh Cuireann Institiúid Uí Riain do Thaighde Comhshaoil, Muirí agus Fuinnimh na ceisteanna móra tábhachtacha taighde, go náisiúnta agus go hidirnáisiúnta de, go fadtéarmach, ó thaobh an chomhshaoil, na mara agus an fhuinnimh de. Tá taighdeoirí Institiúid Uí Riain ag iarraidh eolas a roinnt agus comhoibriú sna heolaíochtaí, san innealtóireacht, sna heolaíochtaí sóisialta agus sa leigheas. Déanfar plé ar fhuinneamh in-athnuaite na mara, grinniú an domhain don athrú comhshaoil, zó-eolaíocht na mara, gnáthóga domhainfharraige agus díleá anaeróbach sa talmhaíocht. Crann á chur Is í OÉ Gaillimh an ollscoil is bithéagsúla in Éirinn. Tá breis is 100 crann taispeántais timpeall ar an gCearnóg stairiúil agus tá cuid díobh chomh sean leis an bhfoirgneamh féin. Ag searmanas speisialta inniu, cuirfidh a Mórgachtaí Ríoga dair ghaelach in aice leis an gCearnóg. Tá brí ar leith leis an dair ghaelach mar go gceanglaíonn sí Éire, an Bhreatain Bheag agus Corn na Breataine le chéile. Is é crann oifigiúil Náisiúnta na hÉireann é, áit a dtugtar an Dair Ghaelach air. Is é crann náisiúnta na Breataine Bige é chomh maith agus breathnaítear air mar chrann náisiúnta Chorn na Breataine, agus tugtar an dair Bhreatnach agus an Dair Choirnise air chomh maith. Beidh tráchtaireacht ar an ócáid ar Twitter ach @nuigalway a leanúint agus beidh na socruithe is deireanaí maidir leis an gcuairt ríoga le fáil ar mheáin shóisialta eile cosúil le Facebook agus Linkedin. #royalvisitireland Cé go bhfeidhmeoidh formhór na gcomhaltaí foirne agus na mac léinn mar is gnáth, beidh roinnt srianta i bhfeidhm ar an gCearnóg agus ar roinnt foirgneamh eile in aice láimhe an 19 Bealtaine. Tá an Ollscoil ag obair leis an nGarda Síochána chun a chinntiú nach mbeidh aon fhadhbanna ar an lá. CRÍOCH

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Stroke patients, mothers and babies, primary care and intensive care patients will all benefit from the four new clinical trial networks, which will improve people’s health and patient care by addressing important research questions. Dr Graham Love, the Chief Executive at the Health Research Board (HRB) says, ‘Clinical trials matter. These new HRB networks will show whether specific interventions work, or indeed don’t work, in the areas of stroke, intensive care, perinatal care and primary care. The clinical trial network approach is effective. We know this because we have our own tried and tested network in Cancer called ICORG*, which is co-funded by the Irish Cancer Society.  Since the HRB started funding ICORG in 2001, it has attracted 270 international trials to Ireland, provided more than 13,000 Irish cancer patients with access to new research treatments and drawn in €6.95 million in funding from industry in the last three years alone’. Following a rigorous application process, an international panel of experts selected the four networks based on their potential for having outstanding health, scientific, societal and economic potential. Each network is led by exceptional individuals with a proven track record of delivering innovative health research that makes a difference to patients. The four Clinical Trials Networks are: HRB Irish Stroke Clinical Trials Network led by Professor Peter J Kelly, Mater University Hospital and University College Dublin (UCD). HRB Irish Critical-Care Clinical Trials Group led by Professor Alistair Nichol, St Vincent’s University Hospital and UCD. HRB Ireland Perinatal Clinical Trials Network co-led by Professor Fergal Malone, Rotunda Hospital and Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland and Professor Louise Kenny, Cork University Maternity Hospital and INFANT, University College Cork (UCC). HRB Irish Primary Care Trials Network led by Professor Andrew Murphy, Foundation Professor of General Practice NUI Galway and General Practitioner Turloughmore, County Galway. Short case studies on each Clinical Trials Network, the trials they will run and quotes from the network leads are provided below. The HRB Irish Stroke Clinical Trials Network led by Professor Peter J Kelly, Mater University Hospital and University College Dublin Stroke is the second leading cause of death in the world, the leading cause of new disability, and a major cause of dementia and health costs. ‘This Stroke Clinical Trials Network will give Irish patients access to cutting edge new treatments with the potential to prevent strokes, or to improve emergency treatment and recovery after stroke,’ says Professor Kelly, Mater University Hospital and University College Dublin. 'We recently saw the benefit to Irish patients of participating in clinical trials via Irish involvement in the ESCAPE trial. This trial was one of the first to prove that emergency clot extraction for carefully selected patients after stroke resulted in a 3-fold improvement of disability, and reduced the risk of death by half, from 20% to 10%. Irish patients were among the first in Europe to benefit from the treatment, which they otherwise would not have accessed.' In the Network, Irish researchers in hospitals will: - Join several new international trials of new treatments for emergency care, prevention, and recovery after stroke. Lead a new clinical trial aiming to prevent second strokes and heart attack after first stroke. Train new doctors, nurses, and therapists in how to perform safe high-quality clinical trials, and will work with patient groups and the private sector to bring new treatments to patients with stroke. The Network will initially involve eight Irish hospitals, six leading universities, and all seven Hospital Groups, including colleagues from UCD, RCSI, Trinity College, UCC, NUI Galway, and University of Limerick. It will have strong links with international researchers in the UK, Europe, and North America. In addition to the HRB, other Network partners are the Irish Heart Foundation, who will fund new Stroke Research Nurses, and seven industry partners, who will fund education and training activities. The HRB Irish Critical-Care Clinical Trials Group (IC-CTG) led by Professor Alistair Nichol, St Vincent’s University Hospital and UCD Thousands of critically ill patients pass through our intensive care units (ICU) each year. Sadly the nature of their conditions can often result in death, or mean they survive with a long term disability. The HRB Irish Critical-Care Clinical Trials Group will bring together doctors, nurses and researchers to test new treatments that can improve outcomes for these patients. ‘Our network will offer ICU patients the highest quality care, give them access to the latest innovations in intensive care and ensure future patients benefit from the lessons learned in national and international research. The group includes the academic leadership in our speciality and encompasses more than 75% of all the ICU capacity in Ireland,’ says Professor Alistair Nichol, Director of the network, St Vincent’s University Hospital and UCD. Initial work to be addressed by the IC-CTG: PHARLAP- will establish whether the way we ‘set’ the breathing machine helps reduce further lung damage in patients with a severe lung disease (Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome  or ‘ARDS’). A small research study by some of the group members showed that reducing the size of each breath in conjunction with an occasional sustained deep breath through the ventilator appeared to reduce further damage to the lungs. But the study size was too small to make definitive conclusions. So a larger study, which this HRB network now makes possible, will assess whether patients with ARDS are better off on this PHARLAP breathing strategy. TRANSFUSE- Does giving ‘fresher’ blood versus ‘older blood’ in transfusions make a difference to patients who are admitted to ICU. This study will result in a worldwide practice change if it finds freshest available blood use is best for ICU patients, but if there is no difference this will provide great confidence to blood banks that current practice is optimal. The network will also carry out test studies to determine which of the common treatments used to help reduce bleeding from the stomach when people are very unwell is best. The network will also provide extra training for junior doctors and nurses in Ireland, so they can be future world leaders in research within the Irish health system. Prof Nichol adds, ‘We will be conducting studies with colleagues from Australia and New Zealand where a similar group to ours have made an enormous impact on improving ICU care. We very much hope to replicate their success in Ireland’. HRB Ireland Perinatal Clinical Trials Network co-led by Professor Fergal Malone, Rotunda Hospital and RCSI and Professor Louise Kenny, Cork University Maternity Hospital and INFANT, UCC Unfavourable pregnancy and birth outcomes can have devastating effects and lifelong consequences for infants and their families.  ‘The HRB Ireland Perinatal Clinical Trials network will be home to more than 200 multidisciplinary researchers whose focus will be to improve care of pregnant women and new born babies by answering important research questions’,  according to Professor Fergal Malone, Rotunda Hospital and the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland. ‘The network brings together leading Irish obstetric, midwifery and neonatal researchers with more than ten years’ experience in conducting important research into women and children’s health. The initial work programme for the HRB Ireland Perinatal CTN includes: The STRIDER trial, which will examine on the use of sildenafil citrate (Viagra) for the treatment of babies in the womb whose growth is severely compromised and for whom no other treatment exists. The PARROT trial, which will examine the use of a novel testing method for diagnosing Pre-eclampsia (PET), a potentially life-threatening pregnancy complication caused by high blood pressure. The TEST pilot study - the first national drug trial in pregnancy, assessing the use of aspirin in low risk women to prevent pregnancy complications. MINT - a drug trial to help assess the best treatment for babies born with breathing difficulties. IRELAND - a drug trial to help assess the best treatment to prevent pre-eclampsia in women with Diabetes. Launching a nationwide follow up programme for the children who participate in these and other studies. Establishing a research programme targeted at the methodology of how we design, conduct, analyse and report clinical trials. ‘Clinical trials in pregnancy and new-born babies are challenging and there are only a handful of such networks globally’, adds Prof Louise Kenny, Cork University Maternity Hospital and INFANT at UCC. ‘Each partner already has extensive, international connections and a balanced portfolio of trials and interventions. This collaborative network will create a critical mass that ensures  Ireland remains an international leader in the delivery of interventions that save lives and improve the health of mothers and babies internationally’. Background: This network represents collaboration between two established research groups; the SFI Irish Centre for Fetal and Neonatal Translational Research (INFANT) and HRB Perinatal Ireland. INFANT has been a world-leading centre for innovative research and the development of novel interventions for pregnancy and new-borns. Perinatal Ireland is a consortium of clinicians from the seven largest maternity Hospitals on the island of Ireland, which when combined, provides a potential research cohort of over 55,000 babies per annum. Perinatal Ireland research outputs have already underpinned the development of at least two national clinical guidelines. The HRB Irish Primary Care Trials Network led by Professor Andrew Murphy, Foundation Professor of General Practice NUI Galway and General Practitioner Turloughmore, County Galway Primary care, often provided by a local GP, is the first port of call for most patients when they are sick. More than 20 million GP consultations take place in Ireland each year. ‘Ninety percent of all health problems can be addressed by GPs and primary care services, so it is vital that GPs have firm evidence on which to make informed decisions about which medication or treatment is right for each patient. This network will deliver such evidence, first in relation to common conditions such as urinary tract infection and also how to manage patients on many medicines effectively,’ says Prof Andrew Murphy, Foundation Professor of General Practice NUI Galway and General Practitioner Turloughmore, County Galway. Initial work to be addressed in the HRB IPC network: Trial 1: Establish whether an antibiotic, or an over-the-counter painkiller, has a better outcome for patients with simple urinary tract infections. Trial 2: Help GPs prescribe the most appropriate combination of medications for older patients who are already on a lot of different drugs. Bring together all the key people in Ireland who are interested in running clinical trials in primary care involving GPs and their patients. Explore patient safety in primary care and will investigate how best to recruit patients and GPs into clinical trials. Initiate an education component teaching primary care staff how to best conduct clinical trials and support people to work closely together to plan and conduct clinical trials and to share the results with GPs and patients. The partners bring a wealth of prior experience in the area along with an already developed, data commissioner approved, ICT system that enables the upload and storage of anonymous, comparative clinical data direct from GP clinics. The Network has partners from NUI Galway, the HRB Clinical Research Facility, Galway, the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland and the HRB Centre for Primary Care Research. ENDS

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

NUI Galway has announced that a patient attending University Hospital Galway is the first patient worldwide to start treatment in a clinical study designed to evaluate the safety and efficacy of an investigational drug candidate for sufferers of acute myeloid leukemia. The announcement was made today and co-incided with International Clinical Trials Day. Adult acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is a cancer of the blood and bone marrow. AML is the most common type of acute leukemia in adults, and it is estimated that there were over 18,000 new cases and over 10,000 deaths from the disease in 2014 world-wide. Unlike other cancers that start in an organ and spread to the bone marrow, AML is known for rapid growth of abnormal white blood cells that gather in the bone marrow and as a result, impede normal blood cell production. While leukemic cells move into the blood, the lack of normal blood cells can cause some of the symptoms of AML such as anaemia and increased risk of infections or excessive bleeding. Current treatment options for AML are chemotherapy and stem cell transplantation, both of which can destroy cancer cells but do not reduce the related side effects. The investigational drug candidate in the Phase 1/2 clinical study in Galway is being developed by US based company GlycoMimetics, who are exploring the clinical use of the drug candidate in blood cancers. The company announced last week that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted Orphan Drug designation to GMI-1271 for treatment of AML. Professor Michael O’Dwyer, NUI Galway, Principal Investigator on the study, stated that: “Based on preclinical data and on a favourable safety profile in healthy volunteers, we believe that GMI-1271 has the potential to be an important new therapy for people with certain blood cancers. It seems that the therapeutic agent in this potential treatment can reverse resistance to chemotherapy which is caused by AML cells’ ability to bind to a receptor called E-selectin in the bone marrow.” NUI Galway’s key strategic research priorities include Cancer Research, Regenerative Medicine and Medical Devices. The University is due to open a new facility for patient-centered clinical research and first-in-man clinical trials, as well as translational research, in the coming months. Ends

Thursday, 21 May 2015

Last week Volunteer Galway, NUI Galway’s volunteer programme ALIVE, and GMIT joined forces to celebrate National Volunteering Week, encouraging people of all ages to think about how they can get more involved it their local community as a volunteer. Research has shown that not only does volunteering have a positive impact on the local community, but volunteers themselves also benefit through acquiring new skills, increasing their employability and improving their mental health. “The aim was to get as many people as possible volunteering. There are many ways to help out in your community and we can provide advice and support around this.” said Donncha Foley of Volunteer Galway, who has developed workshops for organisations seeking to take on volunteers. Sam O’'Neill, GMIT Students Union President and Irish Heart Foundation volunteer, said: “It is fantastic to see so many students volunteering throughout Galway and beyond because of this initiative. They are being shown the value of volunteering, not just for themselves in terms of boosting their employability, but also the benefit it has to society as a whole. Volunteers may not be paid but the work they do throughout the year is priceless.” To mark the 2015 National Volunteer Week, the Galway City and County Age Friendly Older Persons Council met with students from GMIT and NUI Galway. Joan Kavanagh Chairperson of Galway Age Friendly, said, “We have seen a great opportunity through volunteering for intergenerational collaboration across the city between all age groups committed to fostering a city committed to addressing social justice.” The ALIVE programme at NUI Galway harness, support and reward student voluntary activity across the University, Galway city and wider communities to develop their own practical skills and civic awareness. Volunteer Galway provides information and advice to people interested in volunteering, by advertising volunteer roles on behalf of community organisations and charities, and by helping members of the public to find suitable volunteer roles. Volunteer Galway also assists organisations in recruiting and managing volunteers. -Ends-

Monday, 25 May 2015

Minister for Skills, Research and Innovation, Damien English TD, today announced funding of €1.5 million for a new research project at NUI Galway which will seek to address technical challenges associated with the development of improved imaging quality for smartphone cameras. Delivered by the Department of Jobs, through Science Foundation Ireland (SFI), the funding is part of SFI’s Strategic Partnership Programme and includes a €750,000 industry contribution from Galway-based computational imaging company FotoNation.  The research project will run for 4 years and will sustain positions for six PhD researchers and three post doctorial researchers. Commenting about the announcement, Minister English said: “A key part of the Government’s Action Plan for Jobs is to identify strategic opportunities based on emerging global trends. Social media content is becoming increasingly visual with huge growth in the amount of photos and videos now being shared online. This trend is driving strong demand for advancements in smartphone camera technology. This demand presents a strong strategic opportunity for Ireland in the years ahead, and that’s why funding for a project like this through SFI is enormously important.” Professor Gerard Lyons, Dean of Engineering and Informatics at NUI Galway commented: ”We are delighted to be associated with this ground-breaking applied research and to be partnering with FotoNation, which is the global leader in smartphone image analytics. Our academic researchers are pioneers in this new industry and we are committed to supporting close-to-market R&D as the foundation for future economic growth in Ireland.” Dr. Peter Corcoran, Principle Investigator on the project said: “This proposal provides a unique opportunity for engineering PhD researchers at NUI Galway to work on research topics driven directly by the future needs of the global consumer electronics industry. Many of these researchers will have opportunities to engage with, learn from, and contribute to an industry-leading innovation and intellectual property development process. This forward-looking research partnership is a bold step towards the future of PhD education in Europe. ” Dr. Petronel Bigioi, General Manager of FotoNation added: “FotoNation has a long history of innovating and advancing state of the art in image processing. Over 2 billion digital cameras and smartphone devices are powered by the imaging technologies designed by FotoNation engineers. This collaboration with NUI Galway will allow us to continue our quest for innovative solutions to technical issues associated with the development of improved imaging quality for smartphone cameras. ” Professor Mark Ferguson, Director General of Science Foundation Ireland and Chief Scientific Adviser to the Government of Ireland, also welcomed the announcement: “SFI’s Strategic Partnership Programme is specifically aimed at funding compelling research opportunities of scale with strong potential for delivering economic and societal impact to Ireland. The explosion of imaging technology globally creates very clear opportunities for Ireland and we are pleased to be in a position to support Dr. Corcoran and his team at NUI Galway in helping to position Ireland as a leader in research and innovation this area.”   SFI is focused on building strategic partnerships that fund excellent science and drive that science out into the market and society as part of its Agenda 2020 strategy. These partnerships enhance the delivery of SFI’s strategy through leveraging its investment and capability to the maximum extent possible. The SFI Partnership Schemes aim to provide a flexible mechanism by which SFI can build strategic collaborations with key partners such as industry, funding agencies, charities, philanthropic organisations or higher education institutes (HEIs) with the goal of co-funding outstanding opportunities.  About FotoNation FotoNation, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Tessera Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: TSRA), is giving life to computational imaging by merging technology with emotion. With technology in more than 60 percent of global tier-1 smartphones, FotoNation develops technologies that serve the computational imaging space for handsets and cameras, as well as the automotive, surveillance, security, and augmented reality markets. The creation, of the next generation of computational imaging algorithms is our mission. The art of engineering new ways to reach the highest possible performance while keeping system requirements to a minimum is our core skillset. FotoNation has a long history of innovating and advancing the state of the art in image processing. More than a decade ago, FotoNation was the first to integrate a commercially successful computational imaging solution into an embedded mobile device. Today the company remains the unchallenged leader in computational photography and computer vision. Nearly 2 billion digital cameras and smart devices are powered by the imaging technologies designed by the sharp minds and passionate hearts of FotoNation engineers.  For more information visit www.fotonation.com. ENDS

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

NUI Galway, in collaboration with 19 software industry partners, is offering a limited number of free places on its Higher Diploma in Software Design and Development Programme – Industry Stream. This programme was recently awarded the accolade of being Postgraduate Programme of the Year in Information Technology by Grad Ireland. 90% of graduates from the Higher Diploma in Software Design and Development have secured immediate employment in software development roles. Many of the graduates are employed with some of Ireland’s leading software companies. NUI Galway has designed this one-year conversion programme in conjunction with 19 leading IT employers which enable graduates to re-skill for employment in the software development area. Student fees for the course are funded by the Higher Education Authority, given the strategic importance of developing skills in this area. Successful applicants therefore, pay no fees, only a student levy of €224. The overall goal of this postgraduate conversion programme is to strategically increase the supply of skilled graduates to meet the needs of Ireland’s high-growth software industry. It will provide graduates with a fast track, focused computing qualification, and presents them with an opportunity to obtain valuable industry work experience. Applicants are paired with an industry partner from the start of the programme and are then trained in key technologies for that employer’s needs, so they are then able to maximise the impact of a paid industry internship towards the end of the programme. The Higher Diploma in Software Design and Development builds on the existing strengths of collaborative academic-industry interaction in the Galway region. The course also involves a guaranteed three-month paid internship to gain industry experience, and as a result provides the opportunity to kick-start a career as a software developer. The industry partners include Avaya, IBM, Cisco, Fidelity Investments, INSIGHT, Storm Technologies, Aspect Software, The Marine Institute, Solano Tech Ltd, NetFort Technologies and Schneider Electric. Dr Enda Howley, NUI Galway Course Director, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for highly motivated analytical graduates particularly from engineering, maths and science backgrounds, to invest just one year of their time in further education, and, through placement experience with our Industry partners. They will have an excellent prospect for recruitment as software developers in Ireland’s high tech ICT sector. This sector is experiencing rapid expansion at the moment, and there is a growing skills shortage for ICT graduate roles that these students are ideally suited to fill. The highly intensive programme is designed to begin software development from scratch, but we are particularly keen to receive applications from those who have had some exposure to code and realise that this is something they potentially have a flare for. People with technical or strong numerical backgrounds often perform best in these types of programmes and we strongly encourage applicants who have strong maths skills. This could be a strong maths result from their leaving cert or from certain modules in their undergraduate degree. This isn’t essential, but often indicates a strong problem solving and logical skillset.” Dr Howley continued: “The career prospects for our graduates are extremely strong and demand is dramatically outstripping supply. The progamme is now highly respected among many of Ireland’s leading employers and many of our graduates are receiving multiple job offers before they even complete the programme. Our recognition as Postgraduate Programme of the Year in Information Technology has propelled both the programme and our graduates to the front of the list for many recruiters and we are delighted with the feedback and positivity we have been receiving from our past graduates and their employers alike.” The programme is open to all those who have a Level 8 degree or alternatively those with a Level 7 degree and some relevant industry work experience. The programme is ideal for those from a Mathematics, Science or Engineering background, and who relish challenges along the lines of problem solving or project work. NUI Galway is now processing applications and those interested can make their application through www.springboardcourses.ie, or seek more information via the twitter account @hdipindustry.  Significant interest in this free course is expected and early application is advisable. Deadline for final applications is Friday, 15 June. For further information contact the Programme Director, Dr Enda Howley at ehowley@nuigalway.ie. -Ends-

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Members of the Galway City Community Network and interested members of the public are invited to a unique workshop on Saturday, 6 June, which will focus on wellbeing in Galway City. Organised by the Galway City Community Network (GCCN) and NUI Galway, the aim of the interactive event is to develop a ‘Statement of Wellbeing’ for current and future generations in Galway City. The workshop runs from 9am – 1pm in the Arts Millennium Building, NUI Galway. While traditional economic models have often equated wellbeing with economic growth, new research is showing the importance of the wider question of what really matters in life. This in turn has triggered an ongoing debate about how best to measure and foster individual and societal wellbeing. Tommy Flaherty, GCCN Chairperson said: “Wellbeing is something we should all be aiming for. It is more than the absence of ill-health. It is about how we plan our communities, our cities, and our environment so we can have a sense of wellbeing. We want to get individuals, groups and organisations from the community, voluntary and environmental sectors in Galway involved. We want them to share their visions for how we can embed wellbeing in Galway city for ourselves, our children and our children’s children.” The workshop will use a technique called ‘collective intelligence’ to allow the gathering and structuring of ideas to inform the wellbeing statement. Michael Hogan, co-leader of the Health and Wellbeing research group at the Whitaker Institute, NUI Galway said: “Galway is such a wonderful place, we’re so delighted to be able to contribute to the great work that is ongoing across the city. Our role at this collective intelligence event is to act as facilitators - the people who come to our event have all the intelligence.” Michael Hogan added: “This work is difficult in part because when many minds converge on the issue of understanding and promoting wellbeing, many different ideas emerge and research is slow to establish coherence. Increasingly recognised as important is empowering groups to work together to establish a shared vision of wellbeing that they can act upon – and promoting systems thinking in groups such that they can understand how their different wellbeing objectives relate to one another. Notably, international best practice suggests that understanding well-being and developing well-being actions is best approached by focusing on the key strategic objectives and goals that guide our collective efforts to enhance wellbeing.” International perspective will also be brought to the event with the participation of Professor Benjamin Broome of Arizona State University. Commenting on the logistics of the event, Ann Irwin GCCN Co-ordinator, said: “The workshop will consist of six working groups of about 20 people each. In the working group participants will be asked to brainstorm a series of ideas that will eventually lead us to a Wellbeing Statement for Galway. This process will be facilitated by an experienced facilitator and start at 9am. Anyone interested is asked to register using the online registration process as soon as possible as there is a trigger question that all participants are asked to answer before the workshop. This enables the facilitators to prepare the session. All the details are on the website www.galwaycitycommunitynetwork.ie.” Galway City Community Network is the Public Participation Network for Galway City which ensures extensive input by organisations and groups in the community, voluntary and environmental sectors into local decision and policy making bodies including at local authority level. -ends- 

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

NUI Galway’s Centre for Adult Learning and Professional Development was officially launched by Dr Maire Geoghegan-Quinn recently. Offering a range of part-time, flexible programmes for adult learners, the Centre combines the best in educational technologies to provide an education that meets the personal and professional needs of adult learners. Commenting on the changing education landscape, Centre Director, Nuala McGuinn said: “The way people are learning has to change to respond to people’s lifestyle and their working circumstances. Workers are commuting long distances and working irregular hours so the challenge is to be able to respond to their needs in a flexible manner.” Maintaining all that has been the hallmark of Adult Education since its early days of outreach education in the 1970s the Centre has refocused its services in line with the University’s new strategic plan. One of the objectives of the new plan is to grow the range of flexible programmes and increase the overall percentage of adult learners at the University to 20% by 2020. Speaking at the launch Dr Maire Geoghegan-Quinn said: “Lifelong learning is important for adults and an essential requirement in a person’s working life. Never before has the need to re-skill, up-skill and convert to new roles throughout our working lives been as important as it is today. At European level, a government target to is to have a 15% representation of adult learners in higher education and I would like to congratulate NUI Galway on its strategic objective to go beyond this target.” Dr Jim Browne, President of NUI Galway said: “The University’s long history in the provision of adult education programmes, which saw lecturers travelling to outreach locations late in the evening to bring university education closer to their homes. There has been a huge advance in teaching technologies and flexibility available to adult learners both in the range of courses on offer and the modes of delivery used. I would like to congratulate the Centre on their work to date and also on their recent achievement under the Springboard programme where NUI Galway received over 100 places as part of the Springboard and ICT Skills incentive.” Programmes in Innovation Management, Technology Commercialisation, Lean and Quality Systems, Medical Device Science and Automation and Control are now offering funded places for the unemployed providing an opportunity to re-skill and return to the workplace. For more information contact the Centre for Adult Learning and Professional Development at adultlearning@nuigalway.ie or 091 495241, or visit the Centre’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/nuigalway.adulted. -Ends-

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

NUI Galway Global Women’s Studies student, Faith Amanya, was one of small group invited to meet with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon at the United National Training School Ireland in the Curragh on Monday. Faith Amanya is currently undertaking a Masters in Gender, Globalisation and Rights with the Centre for Global Women’s Studies in School of Political Science and Sociology at NUI Galway. Ms Amanya who is a local government development officer in western Uganda is one of two Irish Aid scholars in the Global Women’s Studies Masters programme this year. As part of her Masters studies, Faith recently completed a six-week professional placement with the Irish Consortium on Gender Based Violence, which brings together Ireland’s leading development and humanitarian organisations, relevant Government departments and the Irish Defence Forces to work in partnership to tackle gender based violence. In this context, Faith had contributed to training sessions at the United National Training School Ireland (UNTSI) for members of the Irish Defence Forces getting ready to go on UN peace support operations.   On learning that the Irish Defence Forces had invited Faith to return to the Curragh to meet with Mr Ban Ki-Moon, Ms Amanya, said: “I am grateful and honoured. I am passionate about stopping gender based violence and engaging men in this work. Sharing my experience with future Irish peace keepers at UNTSI and being invited to meet the UN Secretary General during his visit to Ireland are very special experiences for me.” The Masters in Gender Globalisation and Rights is the flagship programme of the Centre for Global Women’s Studies. Course director, Dr Niamh Reilly, said: “Faith’s experience is a wonderful illustration of the strengths of our Masters programme, which brings together recent graduates and mature students from Ireland and overseas to gain the knowledge and hands-on experience necessary to advance gender equality and human rights in responses to global issues.” The Centre for Global Women’s Studies was recently awarded a major research contract with Department for International Development (UK) to examine the social and economic costs of violence against women and girls in Ghana, Pakistan and South Sudan. -ends-   

Thursday, 28 May 2015

NUI Galway will host a unique, participatory and interactive event that explores the potential of public procurement to support Ireland’s budding social economy. This discussion forum, ‘Spending Socially - Achieving Social Value through Public Procurement’ will take place on Monday, 15 June. The event was borne out of an identified need to support local enterprises to engage in public procurement process discovered while exploring the possibilities of setting up a community café in a new building at NUI Galway. Derek Nolan T.D. will open the event which will bring together a unique range of experts in the fields of public procurement and the social economy. Speakers will include members from the Office for Government Procurement, the Strategic Investment Board, the NOW Project, and the 'Ready for Business' Organisation and many more experts and advocates. The aim of the discussion forum is to explore the potential uses of social clauses in public contracts and to encourage a discussion on the social benefits that can be achieved through targeted government spending. The event will explore the procurement landscape in Ireland with a view to understanding how social enterprises could be supported to offer their services and bid for tenders. Throughout this discussion a particular focus will be placed on how to improve employment opportunities for marginalized groups, most specifically, persons with disabilities. All are welcome to attend this event particularly those with interest in supporting social and micro enterprises, community organisations, service providers and entrepreneurial individuals, local development networks, students, anyone with interest in supporting local business and enterprise and those involved in public procurement whether as an advisor, policy-maker or tenderer.  The forum is being organised by the Centre for Disability Law and Policy and the Community Knowledge Initiative (CKI) at NUI Galway, and Employ Ability Galway, and is funded by the Irish Research Council under its New Foundations Scheme. For more information and to register please see: https://spendingsocial.eventbrite.com. -ends- 

Thursday, 28 May 2015

NUI Galway will host the 30th Summer Conference on Topology and its Applications (SumTop30) from 23-26 June. This is the first time this conference will take place in Ireland. Hosted by NUI Galway’s School of Mathematics, Statistics and Applied Mathematics, SumTop30 is an annual major international event in mathematical research and is held primarily in North America. With an expected attendance of more than 150 international delegates, this event will distinguish Ireland as a model of excellence in mathematical research communication, mentorship and collaboration. This year the conference has an ambitious scientific programme that showcases state-of-the-art research in topology with particular emphasis on connections and applications. Speakers this year include some of the most exciting new talents, alongside the most distinguished players in the field. With scientific excellence and its communication as a primary objective, the conference will present a diverse range of speakers in terms of career-point, geographical location, research interest and gender. Keynote speakers include Jan van Mill, University of Amsterdam, Justin Tatch Moore, Cornell University and Ross Geoghegan, Binghamton University, New York. The 18th Galway Topology Colloquium will also take place at NUI Galway on Monday, 22 June. The Colloquium is distinguished by its particular focus on graduate and early-career researchers, providing a relaxed and informal environment in which to discuss and develop research interests. Special features for the Colloquium include working groups of participants to prepare in particular for the SumTop30 workshops, and also a panel discussion whose panel will be populated by key SumTop30 invited speakers. Dr Aisling McCluskey, Conference Co-organiser and Senior Lecturer with NUI Galway’s School of Mathematics, Statistics and Applied Mathematics, said: “The conference with its broad scientific focus indicates the strength of Ireland’s research position within pure mathematics generally, and within topology and its applications specifically on the world stage. It will showcase a diverse range of topological research with applications that will attract young graduates to a correspondingly diverse range of career options within STEM particularly.” The conference is sponsored by Science Foundation Ireland, NUI Galway, National Science Foundation (USA), Fáilte Ireland and Irish Mathematical Society. -ends-

Thursday, 28 May 2015

Research findings presented at a conference today (Thursday, 28 May) in NUI Galway reveal that arts and creative activities are of real benefit to young children. As well as building confidence, and encouraging critical reflection and creative thinking, they also provide a powerful base for team working, problem solving and future development. The research was carried out by the UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre at NUI Galway and looked at an innovative three-year project, BEAST!, developed and operated by Baboró International Arts Festival for Children in Galway. BEAST! (Baboró: Environment, Arts, Science and Technology) took the form of an educational arts and science initiative for primary school children, aged predominately between 9 and 12 years. The project worked with schools on using the arts as a teaching methodology to achieve a higher profile for science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects. Some of the exercises involved the pupils learning about energy usage and climate change with Dr Edward Curry, a scientist from Insight at NUI Galway.  They carried out energy audits in their homes to learn ways of reducing their energy footprint and they also worked with artists to create cartoon animations and storyboards as a means of expressing what they’d learnt. These exercises allowed science to be taught in a more practical and accessible way. Commenting on result findings, which will be presented at the conference ‘Opening the Door to Creative Teaching and Learning’ today, Professor Pat Dolan, Director of the UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre at NUI Galway said: “The development of education of children through creativity and the arts should be given equal attention as learning through reading writing and mathematics. Apart from being the gateway to human expression and innovative learning, it affords children the opportunity to see school as a forum for empathy development, resilience building and attainment of mastery and is in essence an ‘antidote’ to classroom bullying. It is imperative that the Department of Education enable and enhance such capacity building in all schools, and particularly for younger students in need of support.” Dr Cormac Forkan who led the social research team at NUI Galway commented that: “At the highest level, the project enabled the children to be reflective in their own activities and to develop critical thinking. Ultimately education is not just about education for a job, it’s about developing critical citizens.” The research findings showed that: There was a high level of engagement in the workshops by children and teachers. Children talked about changes in the ways that they perceived science and showed a deeper understanding of science concepts. Parents noted their children demonstrated an increasingly positive attitude towards science and that their thinking about the role of science had changed. Children were taught about various art forms in a highly engaging and collaborative way, allowing children to learn about the societal value of the arts and about the importance of collaborating and sharing with others. Teachers were very positive about the benefits of the more open, creative and flexible approach adopted by the science and arts practitioners and stated they were adapting their own teaching styles, to incorporate cross-curricular and more creative and interactive approaches. The research process provided space to consider and develop a theoretical base for BEAST! from the academic literature, linking the project to concepts such as collaboration, creativity, engagement and participation, creative teaching and creative learning. Creativity is a multi-layered concept that involves multiple actors participating in continuous interactive processes of knowledge sharing, learning and engagement. Embedding an ethos of creativity in the curriculum is not a linear or straightforward process. There are numerous barriers to enhanced creativity that include attitudes towards creativity and knowledge, behaviours established practices, time and resources and others that mediate against improving creativity in the curriculum. Paul Collard, CEO from Creativity, Culture and Education in the UK, is guest speaker at the conference: “Without creative skills, problem-solving skills, collaborative skills and a good work ethic young people will not be able to succeed in the world of employment. Now is the time to start thinking about how we reimagine education to put the development of these skills at the heart of the curriculum in order to develop the young people we need, to build the society of tomorrow.” The conference is aimed at parents, teachers and anyone interested in improving levels of confidence, creative and critical thinking and problem solving in primary school children. Speakers at the conference include Professor Pat Dolan, UNESCO Chair and Director of the UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre at NUI Galway; Dr Cormac Forkan, NUI Galway; Paul Collard, CEO of Creativity, Culture and Education and Lali Morris and Teenagh Cunningham from Baboró. Delegates will also have an opportunity to meet with pupils, artists, scientists and teachers who took part in the project to see the work they created. Baboró’s BEAST! conference, ‘Opening the Door to Creative Teaching and Learning’, takes place on Thursday, 28 May, at the Lifecourse Building, NUI Galway from 10am to 4pm. More info at http://www.baboro.ie/events. Enquiries to the Baboró office on 091 562667 or beast@baboro.ie  The BEAST! project has been funded by NUI Galway, Science Foundation Ireland, The Ireland Funds, Galway City and County Councils and Galway Local Enterprise. -ends-

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Students of Enactus NUI Galway recently held a project launch and showcase event. Enactus is a global student-lead initiative where students, along with the guidance of business and faculty advisors, create projects which benefit society socially, economically and environmentally and in doing so engage members of society. The recent event gave Enactus students the opportunity to present this year’s four projects, including the Wallflower Initiative, Bike Back, Eat Your Words and TARA, as well as the future plan for these projects. NUI Galway was one of the founding Irish teams of Enactus Ireland and this year will mark its fourth year of involvement. Guided by academic advisors and business experts, participating students from all disciplines form a team on their university campus and apply business concepts to create and implement community empowerment projects around the globe. The current Team Leader and master’s student at NUI Galway, Elizabeth O’Brien, has been involved in Enactus for three years and also attended the Enactus World Cup 2014 which took place last year in Beijing, China. Elizabeth said: “Enactus has given me the opportunity to improve our local community but also enhance my educational experience. It has helped me to understand special challenges and issues, develop solutions and make a difference in people’s lives. It was an honour to open our launch event and share the good work that we are doing.” Michael Campion, a lecturer at NUI Galway’s J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics, and Faculty Advisor for Enactus NUI Galway, said: “The typical student who engages with Enactus is enthusiastic and passionate about making things better for others. Designing and developing Enactus projects is not easy due to the criteria laid down and it challenges students to be creative, enterprising and tenacious. It’s a privilege to work with and support such students in their Enactus endeavours.” In May, Enactus NUI Galway students, along with seven other third-level institutions, will gather at the Chartered Accountants of Ireland in Dublin for the Enactus Ireland National Final 2015. This will give one team the opportunity to travel to Johannesburg, South Africa to represent Team Ireland for this year’s World Cup Final where Enactus students from 36 countries will be represented and each team will present their projects to a judging panel of global business leaders. -Ends-  

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Professor Brian McStay, from, NUI Galway has secured €1.5 funding from the SFI-HRB-Wellcome Trust Biomedical Research Partnership to study uncharacterised regions of the genome that could advance our understanding of a wide range of human diseases.                                         According to Professor McStay, who works in the Centre for Chromosome Biology, School of Natural Sciences at NUI, Galway: "This project will explore some of the unmapped regions of the human genome that play a key role in how ribosomes, which make proteins, are made. We will look at the genetic factors that influence how ribosomes themselves are put together. We know that unregulated ribosome production plays an important role in many types of cancer, so a better understanding of what impacts ribosomes has obvious potential to help our understanding of cancer and a range of human diseases which are collectively termed ribosomopathies." Commenting on the award, Graham Love Chief Executive at the Health Research Board says, "This funding is not easy to get and competition is intense, so Brian’s success should be acknowledged.  Biomedical research like this, which will help us to better understand our fundamental human make up, is central to providing new avenues for scientists to explore in the search for better and more effective treatments." Dr Michael Dunn, Head of Genetics and Molecular Sciences at the Wellcome Trust, adds, "Wellcome Trust Investigators represent some of the very brightest minds in biomedical science.  We are delighted to make an award to Professor Brian McStay whose work aims to address an important aspect of basic chromosome biology that is still poorly understood.  The award provides generous, long-term, flexible funding, which we hope will enable Professor McStay to make significant advances in knowledge in this important field and thereby help the Wellcome Trust to achieve its mission of improving human and animal health." Professor Mark Ferguson, Director General Science Foundation Ireland and Chief Scientific Adviser to the Government of Ireland said,  "The SFI-HRB-Wellcome Trust Partnership supports research into some of the most pressing biomedical and clinical research questions in health, ultimately delivering a social impact by enhancing the quality of patients care.  This joint funding scheme also boosts Ireland’s biomedical research credentials internationally, thereby attracting investment and ultimately creating jobs.  The fact that Professor McStay’s study secured the funding ahead of international competition underlines the quality of the world class research taking place in Ireland." -Ends-

Thursday, 2 April 2015

NUI Galway recently conferred special certificates on the seventh cohort of ‘graduates’ from its Youth Academy, with 225 primary school children from across the western region receiving their certificates. Established in 2012, the Youth Academy aims to inspire entry to university by introducing primary school students and their families to university life. Since its foundation, over 1,000 students have graduated from a variety of  courses on Saturday mornings ranging from Italian to Film Studies, Engineering to English Literature, Cell-EXPLORERS and Kitchen Chemistry to Smart Act-Aisteoirí óga anseo!, and The World of Cops and Robbers to Drama. The Youth Academy runs for a six week period and works with high-ability fourth, fifth and sixth class primary school children to support their learning and academic development, in partnership with their primary schools. Speaking at the event, Registrar and Vice-President of NUI Galway, Professor Pól Ó Dochartaigh, said: “The Youth Academy is a very important initiative by this University. We feel that it responds to the educational needs of our most important young citizens and gives talented young students the opportunity to get experience of learning in a university. NUI Galway is committed to the sharing of knowledge with the wider community and ensuring that the pathways to university are open to all. I hope that initiatives such as the Youth Academy can highlight how the university can and does serve its community, not only here Galway but in society in general.” For further information on the courses and participation please contact Geraldine Marley, NUI Galway Youth Academy Coordinator, at youthacademy@nuigalway.ie. -Ends-

Thursday, 2 April 2015

The findings from the national stakeholder consultation process present “compelling evidence of the timely need to create a comprehensive registry and biobank.” 93% of respondents to a national survey believe that a registry and biobank for autism in Ireland is needed, according to the findings from a nationwide stakeholder consultation process launched today on World Autism Awareness Day. The consultation process engaged with all stakeholders affected by or involved with autism or other related neurodevelopmental disorders including self-advocates, families, clinicians, health professionals, service providers, advocacy agencies and researchers. The aim of the initiative is to advance world-class clinical, biomedical and environmental research in Ireland and inform best practice in health, education and service provision for individuals with ASD/ NDD and enable the best possible quality of life. The Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders Research Group at Trinity College Dublin partnered with the Irish Centre for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Research (ICAN) at NUI Galway and the US-based Autism Speaks for this initiative. The consultation process was launched following a private members bill, The Autism Bill, brought forward to Government in 2013 and the National Review of Autism Services in 2012, both of which called for the creation of a national database for Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and neurodevelopmental disorders (NDD). The authors of the report and the respondents believe the biobank and registry would support policy decisions by providing reliable information on the scale of these conditions in Ireland as well as their social and economic costs. The key concern most respondents had was around the area of data privacy and protection and in particular who would have access to the data. Currently in Ireland there is no effective health information system or biobank gathering essential data for ASD/NDD, nor are there any accurate prevalence rates, despite the fact that ASD and NDD are lifelong conditions which have significant implications for families, state services, society and the individuals themselves. Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at Trinity, Louise Gallagher said: “It is clear from the responses of those who took part in the national survey and the regional town hall meetings that there is a huge and positive appetite for the establishment of a registry and biobank for Autism in Ireland. Parents said it was the first time they had ever been asked what would make their child’s life better.” Professor Gallagher continued: “It is now timely to act and invest resources to build this registry and biobank with the potential to alleviate the rising financial and resource challenge on Irish public health system and align with upcoming government health strategies, e.g. Progressing Disability Services for Children and Young People. This is Ireland’s opportunity to propel world-class research and its application for the public good with an innovative unique registry and biobank for a major public health challenge.” Dr Geraldine Leader, Director of the Irish Centre for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Research at NUI Galway commented that: "The lack of reliable and systematic information on ASD/NDD not only affects children with these conditions but also impacts adolescents, adults and older adults. There are huge gaps in service provisions and care for adults and the elderly with ASD. They can be left undiagnosed, receive inappropriate services or struggle with no access to proper enabling environments which would assist with employment and independent living. The development of an autism specific registry and biobank targeted at the health, educational and long term needs of the Irish autism community will be a vital resource to inform service planning and delivery and will also support a range of important research questions.  The Irish Autism Registry and Biobank will be transformative in accelerating the pace of autism research in Ireland.” June O’Reilly, parent and chairperson of the stakeholder advisory group spoke about the benefits from a parent’s perspective: “When you receive a diagnosis for your child there are so many questions that you search for answers to in order to maximize your child’s potential. Questions like what interventions should my child be getting, what type of education would be best, or how will they progress as they get older.  The registry gives all stakeholders an opportunity to work in partnership and address these questions.  It will help indicate the most effective approaches, throughout the lifespan from early intervention and treatments for young children through to adulthood, giving informed feedback to parents and stakeholders about best outcomes.” She continued: “I am excited about the registry and biobank as I see it impacting best-practice service provision and education for our children, leading to research discoveries in new treatments and empowering our children who have immensely inspirational strengths and talents.” Dr Amy Daniels, Assistant Director of Public Health Research from the US-based Autism Speaks said: "We are excited to present these findings from the stakeholder consultation, as they document an overwhelming support from the community for developing a national registry for autism and related neurodevelopmental disabilities in Ireland. From the perspective of the advocacy community, our hope is that the registry will be a valuable tool for informing how best to enhance services and the quality of life for individuals with autism and their families now and in the future." The collaborative research team are currently in the process of developing and implementing a pilot registry and are working on this with OpenApp, who provide Quality Assurance and Disease Registry type software solutions for Healthcare within the Irish and other health service settings. The full report on the Consultation for a National registry and Biobank for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders is available here: www.iarb.ie/national-stakeholder-consultation-report/  -Ends-  

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Two NUI Galway postgraduate courses have been shortlisted for the national postgradireland Postgraduate Course of the Year Awards 2015. The award winners will be announced on Thursday, 30 April at a reception in the Mansion House in Dublin. The annual Postgraduate Course of the Year Awards recognises excellence amongst Irish postgraduate course providers. The winning courses are judged on the success of the course including employability of graduates, recognition of the course’s quality or ranking by external bodies, research record of academic staff, and providing a good experience for students. Judges also take feedback from students into consideration when selecting a winner. The Higher Diploma in Software Design & Development (Industry Stream) is shortlisted in two categories: Postgraduate Course of the Year in Engineering Award and also in the Postgraduate Course of the Year in IT Award. The MSc (Biotechnology) programme is shortlisted in the Postgraduate Course of the Year in Science category. Valerie Leahy, Postgraduate Recruitment Officer at NUI Galway, said: “We are delighted to again make the shortlist for these important national awards; it’s great that the calibre of our postgraduate courses is being acknowledged, as is their effectiveness in terms of employability, and interaction with industry and business. The courses in question are accepting applications now and those interested can apply online via the Postgraduate Applications Centre at www.pac.ie/nuigalway. This year we’re also offering generous full-time taught masters scholarships for first-class students, so that’s another reason to consider NUI Galway for postgraduate studies.” NUI Galway offers a wide range of fourth level courses, developing programmes based on its traditional academic strengths of Arts, Social Sciences, Celtic Studies, Commerce, Medicine, Nursing, Health Science, Law, Engineering, Informatics and Science. These areas have been augmented with innovative Research Centres in areas as diverse as Biomedical Engineering, International Human Rights, Digital Media & Film Studies, and Regenerative Medicine. Almost 3,500 postgraduate students (including international students) currently attend NUI Galway. For further information on any of the postgraduate courses available at NUI Galway call 091-495148 or visit www.nuigalway.ie/courses. -Ends-  

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Nanomedicine has published a special focus edition on the combined force of nanomedicine and regenerative medicine; two fields that continue to develop at a dramatic pace. Titled ‘Engineering the nanoenvironment for regenerative medicine’, the issue is guest edited by Professor Matthew Dalby of the University of Glasgow, UK, and associate editor of Nanomedicine, with Dr Manus Biggs of the of the newly established Centre for Research in Medical Devices (CÚRAM) at NUI Galway. It comprises nine primary research articles and three reviews covering topics relevant to the current translation of nanotopography and nanofunctionalization for nanoscale regenerative strategies in medicine. Indeed, the field of ‘nanoregeneration’ has grown exponentially over the last 15 years, and fields of study focusing on the nanobiointerface now include nanotopographical modification, formulation of existing biomaterials and modification of the extracellular matrix, as well as the development of targeting techniques using nanoparticles. Nanoscale platforms are becoming increasingly recognized as tools to understand biological molecules, subcellular structures and how cells and organs work. Therefore, they could have real applications in regenerative medicine and increase our knowledge of how stem cells work, or in drug discovery and cell targeting. “The fields of nanomedicine and regenerative medicine continue to evolve at a dramatic pace, with new and exciting developments almost a daily occurrence. This special focus issue highlights the translational research, reviews current thinking and ‘shines a light’ on the future potential of a field where nanomedicine converges with regenerative medicine,” said Michael Dowdall, Managing Commissioning Editor of Nanomedicine. “We feel this is an important subject for our readers to have a comprehensive and contextual overview of. The special focus issue helps provide this context for researchers, by framing the potential applications of nanomedicine/nanoengineering in terms of the current ‘state of the art’ regenerative medicine techniques.” Dr Biggs commented: “This special issue on regenerative medicine within the nanorealm focuses on basic and translational aspects of nanofabrication and nanofunctionalization strategies, and also gives perspective to future developments in biomedical nanotechnology and the challenges associated with clinical translation. Critically, leading experts in the field have contributed to the special issue, in which we outline the latest developments in nanomedicine.” Members of RegMedNet, the online community for those working in the field of regenerative medicine, can access select articles from the special focus issue through the online platform. A full listing of articles included in the issue is available at: http://www.futuremedicine.com/toc/nnm/10/5 -Ends-

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

To celebrate International DNA Day 2015 on Saturday, 25 April, NUI Galway’s School of Natural Sciences will hold a special event for second-level students in senior cycle Biology. ‘DNA day – Learn how to unlock the DNA code’ is a free three hour practical experience in the NUI Galway Biomedical Sciences laboratories. Human DNA contains the blueprint for many aspects of what makes us who we are - what our eye, skin and hair colour will be, how tall or short we may grow to be, and even if we are more susceptible to getting certain diseases. During the workshop students will learn how scientists identify differences in the DNA code and how we can use these techniques to diagnose genetic disorders or determine if one person may be more susceptible to a disease than another. The DNA workshop is organised by Dr Derek Morris, Programme Director for the BSc in Biomedical Science and Dr Muriel Grenon, Director of the Cell EXPLORERS Science Outreach Programme, both from the School of Natural Sciences, NUI Galway. Dr Derek Morris, a human geneticist, will discuss his research which focuses on understanding how small changes in our DNA code can put us at risk of lots of common illnesses such as diabetes, asthma, cancer and schizophrenia. By studying the DNA code in different people, Dr Morris aims to identify genes that are responsible and develop new methods of diagnosis and treatment that can help patients. The DNA day practical experience will teach students about the power of genetics by providing them hands-on experience of DNA analysis in a research laboratory setting. They will be mentored by a team of young postgraduate researchers into performing authentic experiments individually. The practical activities proposed have been optimised by a group of final year Biochemistry students as part of the Cell EXPLORERS science outreach programme. The activities have been designed to introduce these topics in a fun and exciting way, allowing the students to take the lead and providing a real insight into science at university level. Dr Morris said: “The amazing instruction book contained in each of our cells is celebrated every year on DNA Day, 25 April. This is a special day in DNA’s history as on this day in 1953 the structure of DNA was published and on the same day in 2003 it was announced that the Human Genome Project, a mission to sequence all the human genes, had been completed. These remarkable achievements have led to huge advances in the fields of genetics and have allowed scientists to uncover many of the mysteries of how DNA controls our make up and impact on our health.” This event will take place on Saturday, 25 April, from 2-5pm and coincides with the NUI Galway Open Day. Students attending this event can spend the day on campus and also find out more about at the third-level courses available at NUI Galway, such as the flagship Biomedical Science undergraduate course. To register go to www.cellexplorers.com, download the application form and return it by post before Friday, 17 April to: Dr Derek Morris, School of Natural Sciences, NUI Galway. -Ends-  

Thursday, 9 April 2015

Research funded by Irish Cancer Society and led by NUI Galway wins prestigious European Association for Cancer Research Award Irish researchers have found that switching off a specific protein in bowel cancer cells can stimulate an anti-tumour immune response which can reduce the spread of cancer to other parts of the body. The breakthrough research by Dr Aideen Ryan of NUI Galway, which was funded by the Irish Cancer Society, has been awarded the prestigious European Association for Cancer Research (EACR) Young Investigator Award. Dr Ryan works in the area of Biosciences as an Irish Cancer Society Research Fellow with the Immunology Group in REMEDI. Bowel cancer is one of the most common cancers affecting both men and women. With approximately 2,400 new cases and almost 1,000 people dying from this cancer each year, bowel cancer represents a significant health concern in Ireland. To date, therapeutic developments to tackle the problem of bowel cancer spreading to other parts of the body have had very little success and new methods are urgently needed to improve survival for patients. This award winning research found that the activity of a key protein known as NF-kappaB, with the help of a type of immune cell, called tumour-associated macrophages (TAMs), promotes the spread of cancer cells from the bowel to the abdominal cavity. TAMs are present within or close to tumour tissue and can act in tumour-promoting or a tumour-killing manner, depending on their surrounding environment. Dr. Ryan and colleagues in NUI Galway found that TAMs can be switched from being tumour-promoting to being tumour-killing by turning off the NF-kappaB protein in bowel cancer cells, thereby causing a significant reduction in bowel cancer spread to the abdominal cavity. Dr Ryan said “I am delighted to have been presented the EACR Young Investigator Award for this research. Our findings have, for the first time, uncovered the effect of targeting the NF-kappaB protein in bowel cancer cells. We are continuing this important research in order to develop a new treatment approach for bowel cancer which could potentially result in better treatments for patients with this disease.” This research adds to recent developments in bowel cancer research conducted with the support of the Irish Cancer Society whereby Irish scientists are now developing a simple and inexpensive blood test which can be used as an early detection tool for bowel cancer. Irish Cancer Society funding, provided through the Society’s Research Fellowship Programme to Dr Gregor Kijanka, Dublin City University, was instrumental in the initial development and validation of this new test. Commenting on the research, Dr Robert O’Connor, Head of Research, Irish Cancer Society said, “We are delighted to see that the Society’s investment in bowel cancer research is generating exciting new findings which will make a difference to patients. We congratulate Dr Aideen Ryan on receiving the EACR Young Investigator Award which is testament to the significant contribution she has made to the area of bowel cancer with her ongoing research. This research, which was made possible by Irish Cancer Society research funding, opens new avenues for the development of novel treatment approaches which will hopefully benefit bowel cancer patients in Ireland.” The announcement of Dr Ryan’s award comes as the Irish Cancer Society launches Bowel Cancer Awareness Month. The campaign is calling on men and women throughout Ireland to be aware and act on the early signs and symptoms of bowel cancer. These include: A change in your normal bowel motion, such as diarrhoea or constipation Feeling you have not emptied your bowel fully after a motion Pain or discomfort in your abdomen (tummy) or back passage Trapped wind or fullness in your tummy Weight loss Tired and breathless (due to anaemia from blood loss) Rectal bleeding or blood in stools A lump in your tummy area Dr Ryan’s research was published in Oncogene, one of the world's leading cancer journals, and Dr Ryan was awarded the European Association for Cancer Research (EACR) Young Investigator Award at the annual Irish Association for Cancer Research (IACR) conference. This award is presented to outstanding young researchers in the field of cancer research for a recent, significant contribution to the field. Anyone who is concerned about Bowel Cancer should call the Irish Cancer Society’s National Cancer Helpline on 1800 200 700. ENDS

Monday, 13 April 2015

NUI Galway’s School of Law Annual Distinguished Lecture 2015 will be delivered by the Right Honourable Sir Declan Morgan, the Lord Chief Justice of Northern Ireland on the topic of ‘The role of the judiciary in the vindication of human rights’. The event, which takes place in the Aula Maxima at 8pm on Friday, 24 April, will be chaired by the Chief Justice of Ireland, Ms. Justice Susan Denham. Announcing the event, Professor Donncha O’Connell, Head of the School of Law at NUI Galway, said: “It is a great honour for the School of Law at NUI Galway to host the Chief Justices from both jurisdictions on the island of Ireland for our Annual Distinguished Lecture. We hope that this event will be an opportunity for our students and alumni to hear from two outstanding jurists who hold the highest judicial offices at a critical time for both of their legal systems.” Previous speakers in the Annual Distinguished Lecture series include: Professor Christopher McCrudden of Oxford University; Judge John T. Noonan of the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit; Professor Neil Walker of Edinburgh University; Baroness Brenda Hale of the UK Supreme Court; Ms. Justice Catherine McGuinness of the Irish Supreme Court; and Mr. Justice Nial Fennelly of the Irish Supreme Court. The event is held on an annual basis to mark the end of the academic year and is open to students and graduates of the School of Law, NUI Galway as well as interested members of the public. -Ends-  

Monday, 13 April 2015

€8.3 million Atlantic Philanthropies (AP) funding grant will: Help young people and families get supports early and at local level Embed MEITHEAL - Tusla led national practice model Promote enhanced interagency cooperation Tusla – Child and Family Agency today (Monday 13th April 2015) announced details of a comprehensive programme of early intervention and preventative work. The Prevention, Partnership and Family Support (PPFS) Programme will take place over three and a half years (2015 – 2018) and will embed early intervention and prevention within the Agency.   The aim of the programme is to prevent risks to children and young people arising or escalating through building sustainable intellectual capacity and manpower within Tusla and partner organisations to perform early intervention work. The work is being made possible as a result of a once-off non-discretionary grant of €8.3 million from Atlantic Philanthropies (AP) and is supported by the UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre, NUI Galway. Speaking at the announcement, Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Dr James Reilly, TD says: "This extensive programme builds on the change of emphasis in the development of child welfare and protection services over recent years. It constitutes a significant step in achieving the policy objective of moving towards a stronger focus on prevention and early intervention rather than crisis management. This was a key rationale for the Government's establishment of the Child and Family Agency at the beginning of 2014 and is clearly reflected in the statutory responsibilities it has been assigned. I commend Atlantic Philanthropies for the substantial support it is providing to the programme and thank it for the very considerable investment it has made to the cause of developing parenting and family support services in Ireland over many years. I wish Tusla well in the important and challenging work that lies ahead" President of NUI Galway, Dr Jim Browne said at the launch: “Our University is very pleased to be centrally involved in the efforts of Tusla: Child and Family Agency to develop a robust and effective Early Intervention & Prevention Work Programme. Parenting and family support is a key element of all aspects of Tusla’s Child and Family Services Work, including social work activity, early years support, community-based youth work, foster care, residential care, special care and services to women in domestic abuse situations.Supported by a major investment from Atlantic Philanthropies’ NUI Galway will work with Tusla to support the national implementation of a new Prevention, Partnership and Family Support model through the research and evaluation expertise of our UNESCO Child and Family Research Centreand through the project management expertise of Galway University Foundation.  This is a truly transformative project which goes to the heart of developing effective supports for children and young people in Ireland. Our leading researchers, working with social and community partners will produce high-calibre research and public policy which will have positive societal impacts.” Norah Gibbons, Chairperson, Tusla explains: “The AP grant is a once in a generation opportunity to change how we do child protection and family support. It will enable Tusla to build sustainable capacity to deliver early intervention and preventative work, which would not have been possible without the support of AP. “Importantly, it will create space to develop and embed a new way of working without detracting resources from existing services to children and young people at risk.” Throughout the programme of work, emphasis will be placed on the training and building of capacity within Tusla and external partners.  This will include the development of a strategic approach to commissioning children’s services from the community and voluntary sector.  The approach will ensure that resources available for children, young people and families are used in the most efficient, equitable, proportionate and sustainable way.  The rollout of Meitheal, the national practice model for family support led by Tusla – Child and Family Agency, is a key component of the work.  The model enables children, young people and their families to get supports locally when needed through a range of statutory and non-statutory agencies, working in a cooperative and coordinated fashion with Tusla. Commenting Fred McBride, Chief Operations Officer Tusla says “The primary aim of the programme is to stop problems getting worse or, indeed, to stop problems arising in the first place. Tusla is acutely aware of the need to provide accessible services to children, young people and their families who are not at crisis point. “This will be achieved through the provision of parenting and family supports designed to prevent problems from arising or from escalating.   These supports will be delivered by a range of statutory and non-statutory agencies, working in a cooperative and coordinated fashion. “It also involves the creation of 26 new posts, 24 of which Tusla has committed to maintaining after the initial three year period which will ensure the continuation of the programme in the long-term.” International evidence shows that effective early intervention and preventative strategies are a core feature of the lifecycle approach to preventing poverty and disadvantage and Tusla remains committed to constantly improving our services to ensure the best outcomes for children, young people and families. -Ends- 

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Popular North Sea fish such as haddock, plaice and lemon sole could become less common on our menus because they will be constrained to preferred habitat as seas warm, according to a study published this afternoon in Nature Climate Change and authored by a team including Professor Mark Johnson of the Ryan Institute at NUI Galway. The team took survey data dating back as far as 1980 and used the change is distribution between decades to derive predictive models. In the last 40 years the North Sea has warmed four times faster than the global average and further warming is predicted over the coming century. The North Sea is associated with fish landings valued at over $1 billion, leading to great interest in how changing environmental conditions will impact on commercial species. Fish distributions are limited by a number of factors, including water temperature, and some species can only thrive in certain habitats and depths. The research developed models that combining long-term fisheries datasets and climate model projections to predict the abundance and distribution of the consumers’ favourite fishes over the next 50 years. As the North Sea warms, species appear to choose habitat of a suitable depth over the benefits of moving to cooler waters. Due to higher temperatures in the future, many of the species studied are may reduce in relative abundance. “The modelling technique we used allowed us to look at important variables as we try to predict what will happen should the North Sea continue to warm. It turns out that the right depth is more important than temperature, so that the fish are more likely to stay where they are than move. This will mean that populations will be living at higher temperatures, with the effect of this depending on how well species can cope with the warmer temperatures”, explained Professor Johnson. The modeling technique used in this analysis performed remarkably well when tested on available long-term datasets. This provides real confidence in the model’s ability to predict future patterns of fish distributions around the UK and similar processes may be at work around the coasts of Ireland. Louise Rutterford, postgraduate researcher at the University of Exeter, said: “Our study suggests that we will see proportionally less of some of the species we eat most of as they struggle to cope with warming conditions in the North Sea. We provide new insight into how important local depths and associated habitats are to these commercial species. It’s something that is not always captured in existing models that predict future fish distributions.” Dr Steve Simpson, Senior Lecturer in Marine Biology & Global Change at the University of Exeter, said the findings are important for both consumers and the fishing industry: "We will see a real changing of the guard in the next few decades. Our models predict cold water species will be squeezed out, with warmer water fish likely to take their place. For sustainable fisheries, we need to move on from haddock and chips and look to Southern Europe for our gastronomic inspiration.” ‘Future fish distributions constrained by depth in warming seas’ is published in the journal Nature Climate Change. ENDS

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Findings highlight over 13% increase in reported workplace bullying INMO to launch a ‘Code of Advice’ for members  The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO), in partnership with NUI Galway and the National College of Ireland (NCI), has published findings of a large-scale survey of nurses and midwives in Ireland on the current levels of workplace bullying being experienced by its members. The survey, which provides an updated analysis of one conducted by the University of Limerick (UL) of nurses, in conjunction with the INMO, in 2010, highlights that over the past four years there has been an increase of over 13% in perceived incidences of bullying. The study was headed by Professor Maura Sheehan at NUI Galway who has published widely on issues of workplace discrimination and injustice. Some of the key findings are as follows: Over the past 4 years there has been a 13.4% increase in perceived incidences of bullying (the ‘likelihood’ of bullying); Almost 6% of respondents (nurses and midwives in Ireland) reported that they are bullied on an almost daily basis; The percentage of non-union members who experience almost daily bullying is almost double that of union members; and, Government cutbacks are a probable explanation for the significant rise in reported bullying between 2010 and 2014. According to Ms Sheehan: “The finding that almost 6% of respondents perceive to be bullied on an almost daily basis is very disturbing.  The personal consequences in terms of health, well-being and family relationships of people who experience workplace bullying are extremely serious.” Ms Sheehan went on: “Almost all organisations (93.5%) have a formal anti-bullying policy in place.  Clearly there is a significant gap between the presence and implementation of such policies.  There needs to be a fundamental culture change in hospitals and care facilities – a zero tolerance policy for any bullying must be implemented.  This must apply to all employees, no matter how senior, specialised and experienced.” Workplace bullying was found to have negative consequences both personally and professionally for example: Having more time off work through sickness; Thinking or talking about leaving the job; Decreased job satisfaction; Increased levels of stress leading to reduced performance at work; and, Actively searching for work elsewhere. Phil Ni Sheaghdha, INMO Director of Industrial Relations said: “Unfortunately this result is not a surprise as it confirms some of the information our members have been reporting to us. They believe the problem has been accelerated due to the effects the cutbacks in health care have had in the workplace, particularly as the activity levels have increased, hospitals are constantly overcrowded and staffing levels have reduced.  Employers need to be proactive now and become aware of trends and intervene early to ensure policies are fit for purpose and managers are trained to intervene early and appropriately.” The INMO will now seek an early engagement with employers on these issues and we will also launch a ‘Code of Advice’ for members being bullied with key points as follows:                                                                                                S – Stay calm and walk away A – Act to document incidence F – Follow bullying procedures E – Engage support.   An Executive Summary of the survey on bullying in the workplace can be found on www.inmo.ie   after the press conference.    -Ends-  

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

NUI Galway’s annual Spring Open Day will be held on Saturday, 25 April from 10am to 3pm. The University will welcome thousands of CAO applicants, fourth and fifth year students, parents/guardians, mature students teachers and Guidance Counsellors to campus. The Open Day is an opportunity for students, along with their parents and families, to learn more about the over 60 degree courses on offer at NUI Galway, talk to lecturers and view the campus facilities. NUI Galway, one of Ireland’s top universities for graduate employability, increased its CAO first preference again this year, highlighting its popularity with Leaving Certificate students. With emphasises on careers and employability, the degree courses on offer are designed to develop students academically and professionally. NUI Galway’s partnerships and links with industry has played a huge part in preparing graduates for the workforce. Throughout the Spring Open Day lecturers and current students will be on hand to talk to students and parents at the main exhibition area in the Bailey Allen Hall, with over 80 subject-specific exhibition stands to answer questions on degree courses of interest, CAO points, employability, and career progression routes. Degree course taster sessions will run throughout the day, designed to give a real insight into studying at NUI Galway, with hands-on interactive Science Experience workshops a particular highlight. A wide range of short subject talks and career and sports talks, together with interactive Engineering and IT Zones will also form part of the packed programme for the day.  Tours of the campus will feature the state-of the-art sports complex and gym, the Engineering Building and tours of student accommodation. Popular highlights for parents will a ‘A Parent's Guide to University’ which will provide parents with information on important issues such as fees and funding, careers, accommodation, career destinations and support services for their sons and daughters. Bríd Seoige, Senior Marketing Officer at NUI Galway, said: “Attending the Open Day is the perfect opportunity for parents and students to get a taste of university life and to gain access to all of the information they need to make that important decision. We are encouraging anyone with an interest in studying at NUI Galway to come along, talk to our lecturers and current students, find out about the courses, check out the facilities and decide for yourself whether NUI Galway feels right for you. Spring Open Day has proved invaluable in the past to many students, particularly those considering their options before the CAO change of mind deadline of 1 July.” Talk highlights include: Scholarship schemes for 2015 including the NUI Galway Performance Points Scheme in Sports and Creative Arts. Career talks - “Where are the jobs? What are my employment prospects after University?” Taster sessions designed to give a real insight into studying at NUI Galway and will include: Physics – ‘A brilliant career from lasers to the Universe’, an interactive session with photonics, Android GoPhoton! Apps and more. Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences – an introduction to Medicine and the Healthcare Programmes. Arts – the new BA Joint Honours, BA Connect Programme in Drama, Theatre and Performance studies. NUI Galway is an internationally recognised university with a distinguished reputation for teaching excellence and research. Currently ranked third of the Irish universities in international rankings, NUI Galway is only one of two Irish universities to be awarded the prestigious top rating of five stars in the latest QS Stars rating system. Five stars are awarded for exceptional developments in education, including teaching and research activity, as well as for top quality facilities. The University is also one of the top two universities in Ireland for student retention and graduate employment. NUI Galway recognises the academic excellence of new undergraduate students annually with the presentations of Excellence Scholarships valued at €2,000 to students who achieve exceptional Leaving Certificate results, while generous Sports Scholarships are awarded to high performing athletes. To get the most out of the Open Day visitors are encouraged to view the timetable of talks at www.nuigalway.ie/opendays and plan your day or call 091 494 145 or email visit@nuigalway.ie for more information. -Ends-

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Piggins, Noggins & Hens Indoors The public are invited to attend a special lecture about how life was lived in cottages and farmhouses in Ireland from 1700–1950. The richly illustrated lecture will be given by Claudia Kinmonth, Ireland’s leading historian of indigenous furniture. The event takes place at 5.30pm on Wednesday, 22 April, in the Moore Institute Seminar Room (G010), Hardiman Research Building, NUI Galway. Dr Kinmonth will describe the main features of Irish farmhouse furniture, such as dressers, multi-purpose settles and beds. She will also explore her new research on small furnishings, before the advent of electricity and running water. These include vessels for carrying water or milk ‘piggins’, how they were made and how women carried them on their heads. The lecture will also describe how people tended young animals indoors, in the so called ‘byre dwelling’, and the adaptations this required. Dr Kinmonth will shed new light on drinking vessels (noggins), the dash churn for making butter as well as hen coops and ways of cooking over the open fire. Currently, Dr Kinmonth is a Moore Institute Visiting Fellow at NUI Galway where she has been using special collections in the James Hardiman Library to expand her account of Irish furniture. Director of the Moore Institute, Professor Daniel Carey, spoke of the appeal of the upcoming event: “The talk will offer a unique insight into domestic life in Ireland from the eighteenth century to the middle of the twentieth. There are also going to be examples of small furnishings on display, which will be of particular interest to the audience.” The story of Irish furniture from 1700 to 1950 conveys a vivid sense of how life was lived at home in the cottages and farmhouses of rural Ireland. Ingenious and unique furniture designs were developed in the country and used by a majority of the population in this period. Dr Claudia Kinmonth is the author of Irish Country Furniture 1700-1950, published by Yale University Press in 1991, the standard work on the subject. Her book won two major literary awards. She is currently revising the book for a second edition and doing new research to expand it. The talk at 5.30pm on Wednesday 22 April in the Moore Institute Seminar Room is free and open to all members of the public. For further information contact 091 493902. -ends-

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Organ donations and embryonic stem cells will be themes in final debates The eighth All-Ireland Finals of Debating Science Issues (DSI) will take place on Wednesday, 29 April at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland in Dublin. The competition originated at NUI Galway as a regional event. Through a process of single elimination, the field of 32 secondary schools narrowed to just four representing all four provinces in Ireland. Ballinrobe Community School will be one of four provincial schools competing at the Finals event. This is the first time that a school from County Mayo will represent the west of Ireland. Other schools competing in the Finals include: Clonakilty Community School, Co. Cork; Our Lady and St Patrick’s College, Knock, Belfast; and St Vincent’s Secondary School, Dundalk, Co. Louth. This All-Ireland science debating competition encourages young people to engage in dialogue on the cultural, societal and ethical implications of advances in biomedical science. On the day, there will be two semi-final rounds of debate focussing on the moral obligation to research with embryonic stem cells to develop new medical treatments. The winners of the two semi-final rounds will go on to debate the allocation of organs donated for transplantation. “Ballinrobe students have worked very hard in this competition, and to reach the finals, is a major achievement for them. Not only has it had visible effect on their confidence, but it has also elevated the level of interest in scientific issues across the school community,” said Eoin Murphy, science teacher with Ballinrobe Community School and NUI Galway graduate. Preceding the competition, all participating schools avail of a three hour workshop addressing an area of biomedical research and the surrounding societal and ethical issues. A workshop to highlight the implications and the treatment of lifestyle-related diseases was facilitated at the Ballinrobe Community School last year by REDDSTAR’s Dissemination Officer Danielle Nicholson, Coordinator of the Debating Science Issues project. The nine DSI partners in 2015: REDDSTAR coordinated at NUI Galway; Alimentary Pharmabiotic Centre at UCC; Biomedical Diagnostics Institute at DCU; The Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland; Amber at Trinity College; W5 in Belfast; INSIGHT at UCD; Cork Institute of Technology; and the University of Ulster, Coleraine. The DSI 2015 Finals have been supported by Science Foundation Ireland Discover Programme project award. More information on the competition can be found at www.debatingscienceissues.com. -Ends-

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

One of the most famous GAA clubs in Ireland, O'Donovan Rossa GAC Belfast, is teaming up with one of Ireland’s leading universities NUI Galway. NUI Galway is to become a club sponsor for the nextyear in a partnership that will promote both sport and education. Tipperary hurling manager and Professor of Economics at NUI Galway, Eamon O’Shea was in Belfast today for the announcement, along with the University’s Registrar and Deputy President, Professor Pól Ó Dochartaigh. O'Donovan Rossa was represented by members of the clubs under-16 hurling and football teams who tried on their new kit. Speaking at today’s announcement, Professor O’Shea said: “It’s a real privilege to meet these talented young players. Investing in and fostering young sporting talent is very important. Not only does it improve outcomes on the pitch, but dedication to sport is later reflected in a commitment to education and developing a career. Sport can teach people so much, particularly in regard to focus, determination, resilience, team work and communication.” Sport is central to academic life at NUI Galway where students can avail of excellent facilities and over 50 sports clubs offer a chance to balance study with the best of sporting activities. Last month, O’Donovan Rossa tasted All-Ireland success when it won the Intermediate hurling club All-Ireland in Croke Park. The underage section of the club has been exceptionally strong especially over the past 10 years, with the minor teams winning the Antrim A finals in both footballer and hurling in 2014. Paddy Trainor Chairman of Rossa juvenile committee believes“Developing a strong link with a world-renowned institution like NUI Galway will ensure our underage teams will keep developing .We know that many of our young players will be going to university in the near future so it is great for them to have this positive connection with  third-level education.” The announcement comes at a time when universities in the Republic are becoming more accessible to students from the North. According to NUI Galway’s University’s Registrar and Deputy President, Professor Pól Ó Dochartaigh: “The recent introduction of new A Level equivalences in the Irish system mean almost all courses are now within the reach of students with three A-Levels. Universities in the south, especially our own which is in the top 2% globally, have great reputations for excellent teaching and career prospects. Combined with low fees, the relatively affordable cost of living and its sheer proximity, NUI Galway is becoming an option really worth considering.” The O'Donovan Rossa under-16 team will tog out competitively in their new kit for the first time on Thursday to take on Glenariff in the Antrim under 16 hurling league. -ends-